Oakland County – Daily Detroit http://www.dailydetroit.com What To Know And Where To Go In Metro Detroit Fri, 15 Jun 2018 20:11:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.6 HUD Says Oakland County Has Discriminatory Housing Practices http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/06/14/hud-says-oakland-country-discriminatory-housing-practices/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/06/14/hud-says-oakland-country-discriminatory-housing-practices/#respond Thu, 14 Jun 2018 20:50:02 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=42096
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is accusing Oakland County of pushing discriminatory housing policies in how it divvies up federal housing money.

In a 20-page letter addressed to county Executive L. Brooks Patterson, HUD says Oakland County steered $171 million in housing aid since 1989 to homeowners at the expense of renters, who are more likely to be non-white. That’s contributed to the worst housing segregation in the nation, HUD says.

The news was first reported by Bridge Magazine.

HUD says Oakland County rarely spends money helping rental units and even bars communities from spending certain grant money on multi-family homes. Failing to address the issue could jeopardize $7 million in annual funding.

County officials vigorously deny any wrongdoing and say they’re fighting the finding. They have a deadline of July 1 to respond to the allegations.

The Detroit region has a long history of racial discrimination in housing policy, through redlining and housing covenants that saw agreements between property owners to sell only to other white people.

The HUD complaint appears to have been sparked by a 2015 complaint filed by the Fair Housing Center of Metropolitan Detroit that said Oakland County’s housing policies were hurting minorities.


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This New Law Could Make Bicyclists In Michigan Safer http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/06/14/new-law-make-bicyclists-michigan-safer/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/06/14/new-law-make-bicyclists-michigan-safer/#respond Thu, 14 Jun 2018 20:38:09 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=42093
If you’re a bicyclist in Michigan, you might be getting a new law that’s in your favor.

The Michigan legislature has passed a package of bills that would mean motorists would have to pass at least three feet to the right or left of a bike. If it is not practical to do so, the motorist will have to pass at a safe distance at a safe speed.

The bills are expected to be signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder. Currently there is no law mandating a passing distance between bicyclists and cars.

This would bring Michigan closer to most other states in the nation, who use the three foot rule.


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Pontiac’s Avon Donuts Named One Of 10 Best In America http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/06/12/pontiacs-avon-donuts-named-one-10-best-america/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/06/12/pontiacs-avon-donuts-named-one-10-best-america/#respond Tue, 12 Jun 2018 16:19:04 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=42066

A Pontiac donut shop with just five seats has made the list of the best in America.

For more than 30 years, Avon Donuts has been slinging tasty treats.

TIME magazine has listed them as one of the top 10 best donut shops in America. They highlight donuts like Caramel Apple, Maple Bacon Extreme, Glaze Blueberry Cake and Lemon Drop.

You can find them up in Pontiac at 45324 Woodward Avenue. Be sure to get their early… they open up at 4 a.m. and sell out often.


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FlashFoodBox Launches in Detroit, Marijuana Ordinance Proposed in Detroit, Como’s Bought & More News http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/06/07/flashfoodbox-launches-detroit-marijuana-ordinance-proposed-detroit-comos-bought-news/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/06/07/flashfoodbox-launches-detroit-marijuana-ordinance-proposed-detroit-comos-bought-news/#respond Thu, 07 Jun 2018 21:29:02 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=41996

You Daily Detroit News Byte Podcast (subscribe free here!) recorded on June 7, 2018.

– Members of Detroit City Council will debate a new proposal to regulate medical marijuana businesses in the city.

– The Republican-controlled state House and Senate have adopted a citizen petition to pull the prevailing wage law off the books.

– City councils in two of Oakland County’s largest cities, Troy and Novi, say voters should be allowed to decide the fate of a regional transit tax in November.

– It’s one of the Detroit area’s hottest and most closely watched pieces of real estate. And now, the former Como’s Restaurant at Woodward and Nine Mile in Ferndale has a new owner.

– Nearly $98 million in Federal money, pending congressional approval, will be coming to help fix Mound Road.

– Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk will be in Detroit this weekend. He’s headlining the re-opening ceremony on Saturday for Wayfinding, a combination public art installation and skate park next to Campus Martius.

– Motor City Pride festival is this weekend.

– There’s a new delivery service called FlashFoodBox that’s opening up in Detroit as its first U.S. city. The company is looking to change the game, and get fresh food delivered to people, right to their door.

Jer caught up with their founder Josh Domingues at WeWork Thursday morning.

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LISTEN: Economic Development Manager Todd Fenton Discusses Rethink Royal Oak Project http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/06/06/listen-citys-economic-development-manager-todd-fenton-discusses-rethink-royal-oak-project/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/06/06/listen-citys-economic-development-manager-todd-fenton-discusses-rethink-royal-oak-project/#respond Wed, 06 Jun 2018 23:29:23 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=41969

If you’ve been to downtown Royal Oak recently, you’ve probably noticed lots of construction, as the city grows upward, with several mixed-use, mid-rise buildings under way. One of the newer projects, located just east of Main Street, is actually being steered mostly by the city government itself.

Rethink Royal Oak is the name of a project that encompasses several individual projects:

  • A privately owned 140,000 square-foot Class A office building
  • A 581-spot parking structure
  • New buildings for both the City Hall and police station headquarters
  • And a 2-acre public park in the city’s downtown

We went down to the current city hall — a building that very much looks and feels like the 1950s structure it is — to speak with Todd Fenton, Royal Oak’s economic development manager. He spoke with me about the Rethink Royal Oak project, how it fits with the city’s urbanist vision for downtown, and how the city is seeing more demand for office space than it can supply.

Fenton says the city wants to create more office space in part to give a boost to the downtown during the sluggish daytime business hours. Where city officials once targeted a goal of bringing on 180,000 square feet of office space by 2020, it’s now on track to create more than 300,000 square feet.

“Certainly the market has reacted positively,” Fenton says. “We’re not going to confuse ourselves with being a Troy or Southfield. It’s actually adding a use that wasn’t here, and we believe it will drive daytime traffic, which will in turn bring more retail opportunities into the city.”

Fenton says he’s had to turn away many companies that want to locate in Royal Oak due to a lack of available office space.

“There’s a lot of pent up demand coming into the city. I’ve certainly met with a lot of tenant that would raise some eyebrows,” he said, adding “the announcements will be coming.”

Give a listen to the interview in the player above.

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Barley, BBQ & Beats Coming To Novi Showplace This Saturday, June 9 http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/06/05/barley-bbq-beats-coming-novi-showplace-saturday-june-9/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/06/05/barley-bbq-beats-coming-novi-showplace-saturday-june-9/#respond Tue, 05 Jun 2018 17:40:27 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=41959

If you’re looking for a fun event that’s new to the area, you might want to check out Barley, BBQ and Beats coming this weekend to the Novi Showplace.

It brings whiskey, music and barbecue for a good cause, Hospice of Michigan.

Check out the interview with Marcie Hillary for more, but here’s the lineup via their event page:

Barley, BBQ & Beats is a showcase of great drinks, great food and great music from the state of Michigan. Proceeds will support Hospice of Michigan’s Open Access Fund, which provides end-of-life care to patients regardless of age, diagnosis or ability to pay.

Host: Evrod Cassimy

– Corey Dakota
– Drop 3rd Strike
– Space Cat

– AlJoom’s BBQ
– American House
– CAYA Smokehouse Grill
– Detroit BBQ Company
– Forte Belanger
– Lockhart’s BBQ – Royal Oak
– The Moveable Feast Catering
– Parks Old Style Bar-B-Que
– Red Rock Downtown BBQ
– Westside Barbecue
– Woodpile BBQ Shack

– American Fifth Spirits Tasting Room
– Ann Arbor Distilling Company
– Bier Distillery
– Detroit City Distillery
– Grand Traverse Distillery
– Gray Skies Distillery
– Journeyman Distillery
– Our/Detroit
– Red Cedar Spirits
– Two James Spirits

– CareLinc Home Medical Equipment and Supply
– Meijer

– ABG Michigan

– Learning to Give (The Meijer Foundation)

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Work Continues On The Rethinking Royal Oak Development http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/05/31/work-continues-rethinking-royal-oak-development/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/05/31/work-continues-rethinking-royal-oak-development/#respond Thu, 31 May 2018 14:59:16 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=41906 Workers will soon begin construction on a 581-space parking garage in downtown Royal Oak.

It’s part of a larger development project dubbed Rethinking Royal Oak. It includes a new public park, police station, city hall, and a six-story office building. The project kicked off earlier this month with the groundbreaking for the six-story Royal Oak City Center in front of the current city hall.

Officials say the north side of the Williams Street parking lot, near the city’s public library, will close on Tuesday of next week to start construction on the new parking deck.

The changes are meant to modernize outdated civic buildings that date back 60 years and add walkable green space on the site of what’s now the city hall and police station. The city has seen demand spike for parking as development of mid-rise buildings continues to draw new residents and office workers, adding to the city’s traditional draw as a nightlife hotspot.

A few miles to the south, Ferndale is expecting to break ground soon on its own parking deck a mixed-use structure with nearly 400 spaces called “The Dot” this spring.

This story aired on our Daily Detroit News Byte podcast.


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Democratic Gubernatorial Hopeful Abdul El-Sayed: ‘I See A State That Is Quickly Failing People’ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/05/30/democratic-gubernatorial-hopeful-abdul-el-sayed-see-state-quickly-failing-people-state/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/05/30/democratic-gubernatorial-hopeful-abdul-el-sayed-see-state-quickly-failing-people-state/#respond Thu, 31 May 2018 03:06:50 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=41899

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed dropped by Daily Detroit on Wednesday at the Mackinac Policy Conference to talk about his decidedly underdog candidacy, his progressive policies, why he lost the endorsement of Mayor Mike Duggan and firmly establish his outsider credibility.

“A lot of politicians come here to rub shoulders with corporate lobbyists and try and get those corporations to back their campaigns. I just don’t take corporate money,” El-Sayed said.” My role here is very different. I see myself as an informant of sorts for folks who don’t get to come to islands like this for the things that I’ve been learning about the challenges in their lives.”

El-Sayed is famous — or in some circles, infamous — for being openly Muslim. He’s the son of Egyptian immigrants who grew up in the Detroit area, played lacrosse at the University of Michigan and won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University in England. He’s a doctor who most recently ran the Detroit Health Department following its shuttering in the city’s bankruptcy.

He says his travels around the state have shown him that Michigan residents are concerned mostly with the quality of their children’s schools, infrastructure and health care.

El-Sayed says the state has badly underinvested in things like schools over time. He says that’s one of the primary reasons Amazon left Detroit off its list of finalists for its HQ2 project.

“The state tried to offer Amazon $4 billion in incentives. It didn’t work,” he says. “And the reason that they didn’t come is because we had not invested that same money in the same things that they were looking for in the first place: great opportunities for people to raise families because they have great public schools, and great public transportation, and great infrastructure. We don’t have those things.”

Have a listen in the player above. And if you like the show, head over here to subscribe with your favorite podcast app of choice.

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Will Metro Detroit Become A Permanent Second-Class Region? That’s the Question At The Heart Of This Year’s Mackinac Policy Conference http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/05/30/will-metro-detroit-become-permanent-second-class-region-thats-question-heart-years-mackinac-policy-conference/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/05/30/will-metro-detroit-become-permanent-second-class-region-thats-question-heart-years-mackinac-policy-conference/#respond Wed, 30 May 2018 14:41:14 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=41884 The Detroit region is a proverbial frog boiling alive in a pot of water.  

There are several major topics being tackled up here at the Mackinac Policy Conference — talent, transit, the opioid crisis and education among them. But the through-line that we see between all of them is “Will Metro Detroit become a permanent second-class region?”

See, despite what some politicians would like to tell you, all is not rosy in the Paris of the Midwest. The city does have a comeback beginning. But anyone who’s visited other cities and regions knows that even our “nicest” area of Midtown is an average block in most other major cities.

Our roads are reminiscent of the surface of the moon. And it’s our fault because we refuse to spend what it takes to fix our infrastructure.

Michigan’s education system — as we discussed with Ron French of Bridge Magazine — http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/03/22/michigans-bad-schools/ is in deep trouble, much closure to the bottom of the barrel among states that the top of the heap.

Michigan has the 4th biggest drug problem in the United States, and Macomb County’s drug overdoses are skyrocketing.

And transit? Well, there’s many second- and third- world regions that have better mass transit than we do. It’s something that’s like air to most millennial workers, not to mention many of the urbane executives and engineering talent we like to lure from other automotive hubs like Germany and Japan. But here, we have a bunch of folks who are telling their kids to get off their lawn and driveway — and then wonder why they don’t move back “home.”

To us, transit is a question of equity. It’s a hand up for people to get to jobs and improve their own station in life, not a hand out. In Metro Detroit, we’re apparently fine with “I got mine.” And that’s not the kind of community people who want to build something great want to live in.

Here’s the scary thing: The electorate, especially in parts of Oakland and most of Macomb County, is apparently fine with that. And our elected leaders? We’re back to the tiresome suburban/city bickering. It sure was nice to have a break from that, however brief.

But it’s not a good look, guys.

While you’re fighting, our future is leaving this state, and businesses by and large aren’t finding the talent they need. We look to people like Dan Gilbert to do everything, when in fact, if we were a successful region, we’d have 20 or more of them. Dan Gilbert in Chicago is just another rich guy. Here, he runs the table because he’s among the few games in town.

But that’s our culture. We’ve long looked to big companies to fix our problems. Ford, Chrysler and General Motors had their claws in city governments across Metro Detroit who then didn’t plan for people and residents. For the most part, they did what the biggest companies in town asked.

We made whole suburbs based on racist principles. Henry Ford, though a brilliant engineer, was a racist and anti-Semite. With his money and power, he weaved his wretched social beliefs into the fabric of our area, and most of us don’t even realize it.

And Detroit’s mostly hated Coleman Young? He wasn’t a cause. He was a symptom and a catalyst, like Donald Trump today. Now, we have Oakland County exec L. Brooks Patterson back to his cantankerous old ways, flipping corn and blankets over the proverbial fence and flipping off the camera. And Macomb’s Mark Hackel? He never met a political wind he didn’t bow to. He’s right about his electorate today, but he’s going to be on the wrong side of history.

What we need now is leadership. Will a champion, or a set of champions, step forward, or are we going to have 20 more years of the same story? Now is the time, or we fear the window of a Motor City comeback will close. And maybe that’s what our current leaders really want: the status quo, with a festering doughnut-hole for an urban core and a collection of disparate, sprawling suburbs offering plentiful parking. Nothing galvanizes a base like an enemy. And the easiest enemy in Metro Detroit always seems to be your neighbor.

So the question this year really is this: Will Metro Detroit find the will to turn a corner to keep up with the rest of the nation, or are we going become a permanent second- or third-class region? The choice, as they say, is ours.

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Popular SOUP Crowdfunding Dinner Comes To Ferndale http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/05/24/popular-soup-crowdfunding-dinner-comes-ferndale/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/05/24/popular-soup-crowdfunding-dinner-comes-ferndale/#respond Thu, 24 May 2018 14:45:46 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=41843

The Build Institute and the City of Ferndale are teaming together to host the inaugural Ferndale SOUP on Wednesday, June 27th.

SOUP is a micro-granting dinner focused on supporting community projects and businesses in Ferndale. The program launched in Detroit and has gained international notoriety.

It’ll work similarly to the Detroit version. For a 5-dollar donation, attendees receive soup, salad, bread and a single vote. You’ll hear four presentations ranging from art to urban agriculture, social justice, social entrepreneurship, education and technology.

Each presenter will have four minutes to share their big idea and answer four questions from the audience.

Then, attendees eat, talk and vote on the project they think benefits the city the most. There will also be a performance by a local artist.

The ballots will be counted at the end of the night and the winner will go  home with all of the money raised to carry out their project.

You can check it out for yourself at the Rust Belt Market, at Nine Mile and Woodward on Wednesday, June 27. It starts at 6 p.m.

And if you’d like to be a presenter? You can submit your idea at buildinstitute.org/ferndale by June 20.

This story originally appeared on the Daily Detroit News Byte Podcast.

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